How to Get Your Parents to Like Your Boyfriend
There is no way to actually "make" anyone like someone that you love. People are free to think about what they want about other people, so if worse does come to worst, you're going to have to gauge whether it's more important to be with your boyfriend or to have your parents' approval of your partner.
Is Parental Approval a Necessity?
As much as we would like for our relationship to be readily accepted by our parents, and everyone for that matter, there may be one or two people that just don't get it, or have a problem with your boyfriend or the person you're dating. In this situation, really think about whether or not it's worth the constant fighting or bickering with this person, and whether or not both you and your boyfriend want to go through with it.
If you introduce your boyfriend and your entire family hates him, is it fair to him to have to be hated by the people you love? Is there a way for them to get to know your boyfriend and then perhaps like him better?
These are important questions to ask yourself. Be honest with yourself and truthful with your boyfriend. Does it bother you that your mom will always dislike him? Honesty is important.
Knowing what you want before it happens will help gauge whether or not you're willing to work with your parents and show them that your boyfriend is a good person and that he is a good match for you.
The Annoyance of Being a Girl
One little side note: if you're a girl, your parents will more than likely be harder to win over than your boyfriend's. It's just parental nature to want to really protect their "little girls" and to instantly be suspicious of boys and their intentions.
Unfortunately, I've never been able to find a good way to combat this other than just letting my parents get used to my boyfriend and have him prove himself to them.
How to Judge What Your Parents Think of Your Boyfriend
Every parent, every family, and every person is different. Some people naturally take longer to warm up to other people than others. Below are some situations that your parents may fall into, and each have their own levels of acceptance that can or can not be influenced.
This one happens a lot with overprotective parents (which I grew up with), so it's sometimes hard to gauge whether your parents hate your boyfriend because they're worried about you, or if something caused them to have a reaction where they are genuinely worried for a good reason about your choice of boyfriend.
A good rule is that if they already hate him without even meeting him or knowing anything about him, chances are they are just worried and overprotective. If they have seen how he acts when he picks you up or how you talk on the phone with him, they may have caught some warning signs that you didn't pick up on. This may lead to a valid reason for them to dislike him.
This is immediate. As soon as your parents meet your boyfriend, they will, of course, come to that conclusion just from the first day that they meet. This is one of the most difficult opinions to change, as your boyfriend may remind one of your parents of a past relationship that was hurtful for them, or they may have some sort of prejudice against your boyfriend.
While time can of course help your parents get to know your boyfriend, it is not always possible for your parents to let go of that initial hatred. Whatever the reason was, it may be something that they just can't look past. In this case, you may have to make the decision and ask the hard question: do you want to put your boyfriend through this, and are you okay with it?
Sure being a teenager or being younger, you may be rebellious and not care, but in five to ten years when you're thinking of potentially marrying this person, would you really be okay with having your boyfriend be hated?
How to Tell if Your Parents Hate or Disapprove of Your Boyfriend
|Signs of Disapproval||Signs of Hatred/Dislike|
Do your parents ever say that you're better than your boyfriend?
Do your parents make any effort to get to know your boyfriend?
Do your parents enjoy or tolerate you talking about your boyfriend?
Do your parents treat you different or think worse of you since you've been with your boyfriend?
Do your parents have any (good) reasons for disliking him? He doesn't treat you right, doesn't call, etc.
Do your parents encourage you to meet or date other people?
A Story from Personal Experience
I had a boyfriend who didn't wave when he would leave, he never stood inside the house with my family, he isolated himself and didn't openly show his affection or love toward me around anyone, but now that I look back I realize it wasn't more than just simple lust or puppy love. At the time I thought it was just how he grew up, but when things ended, it was me who got hurt.
My parents never did like him. They couldn't stop me from dating him, but they did constantly tell me to find someone else or talk about how he wasn't right for me, how he was below me, how I must know that this wasn't going to work.
My mom did actually tell me that he had reminded her a lot of someone she had been hurt by. He also was someone completely different than me, but not in an easy way. He was Hispanic and I couldn't talk to his parents or family because I didn't know Spanish and he didn't share my common passion for art. I felt alienated because of my ignorance and not having someone who I could really talk to about art with was a piece of the puzzle I didn't realize was missing until later.
Long story short: what was a huge mistake in my life, ended up being a blessing. Even though I was hurt from that encounter, I learned to take into account what I wanted in a boyfriend and understood that the right person would both be liked by my parents and be someone the family would enjoy hearing stories about and being around.
How to Get Your Parents to Get to Know Your Boyfriend
This part can be a little tricky if you have stubborn parents who flat out hate your choice of boyfriend, and depending on your age it might not work so well if they still can pull the "you're too young" card.
However, below are some situations and fun things that seem to help your parents get to know your boyfriend more.
- Have a nice dinner with your parents, siblings, and your boyfriend. After all, you probably want your boyfriend to fit into your family, so why not invite him over for dinner? You can also go out if your parents or boyfriend are more comfortable by not having to cook. Remember that first impressions are everything so if this is the first meeting, be sure to not assume that your parents will pick up the check.
- Holidays. Invite your boyfriend over for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Even if he is having his own celebration with his family, it's very common to split the day. Be sure to spend time with more than just your family. This is a great way to swap stories and participate in family traditions.
- Sports events or common interests. If your boyfriend and one of your parents share a common interest what better way to bond than a gold night or a night run. Be sure not to pressure or step on anyone's toes though. If your dad goes golfing to relax, make sure to ask if it'll be alright for your boyfriend to tag along. You don't want him to resent your boyfriend for hanging around all the time
- Time. In time, even the most protective parents won't be able to hold up their hatred for long. If they see you having fun, being treated right and they even semi-enjoy him being around. Your boyfriend will be able to win him over in time.
Give It Time
If it's important to both you and your boyfriend to be on good terms with your parents, make the effort to gain that bond. It's not going to happen overnight and sometimes it does require a lot of time and patience to nurture the relationship.
However, in the end, it's worth the trouble to be able to come home and have your parents ask how your boyfriend is doing and genuinely be happy for you. Don't be bitter if your parents are difficult. They may have their reasons.
Let the relationship happen naturally and don't push it too hard or you may end up causing grudges and annoying your parents or boyfriend.
It is worth it, so fight for that love.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Liz on March 19, 2018:
See I'm going through the same thing I think lol I'm 36 n still live home with my parents n my parents well... my mother way way way overprotective so I been chatting with this guy over ten months
N I never told my parents anything because they will just flip out so how we meet was he message me by actions on Skype saying I love that show n I was like sorry wrong person n he was like omg omg I'm so sorry my Skype been acting funny with the new updates so I said ya my Skype too n from that day on we been chatting n video chat in all he is a very nice guy. Not to worry I looked him up he is all good I found nothing bad on him so that's the first think I did the first week of chatting with him. So he live 4 hours away from me n that's not to bad n we are going to meet up next month but I'm not going to let my parents find out I meet him online lol Skype so we r just going to bump into each other at a pizza place n ack like we don't know each now here the think my parents might flip out on I'm 36 he is 46 n I don't care about the age he was married a long long time ago when he was young he has two kids 16 n 19 year old n that's ok because I love kids n I really do feel bad for having to lie to my parents but my friend told me I have to do what I have to do it's time for me to be happy so I just hope my parents like it so any tips u guys got would be great thanks
Emmastoner on October 25, 2017:
My Boyfriend and I have been together for almost 2 years. During this time my mother passed away from cancer and we have moved in together into a property that I have purchased. My Boyfriend and I are the same age, 25. He has been unemployed for over a year now and I have had to start working extra hours on the weekend to pay the bills. I thought that he understood that I had to work, however today he sat on the couch doing nothing while I was working. I then stopped working to spend time with him and half way through our first movie, he got up and decided to go to a friends house because we are drifting? I told him I thought he was rude doing this, he just threatened to leave me and left? Every time we have an argument he threatens to leave me and i m so scared and confused that he finally broke up with me. All I do is try to make the situation better for him but today i am happy, so excited that the he is back and promised never to break up with me again, this happened with the help of Dr. Mack after looking for help for the past 3 months and i was lucky to meet Dr Mack, His love spell work faster with no side effect contact him through
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Chelsea from Botswana on February 23, 2015:
Great post! I have an overprotective father and i'm in a long distance relationship so not many people in my family have met my boyfriend. Personally we both agreed that if my dad didn't like him it wouldn't really be that big a deal cause I explained in the beginning how my dad can be.
Elizabeth on December 15, 2014:
Ok so my dad is totally overprotective to the point i can't even go over to friends houses!!! And once it comes to boyfriends oh my goodness its even worse! I finally met the man of my dreams but even more than that is i love him and he loves me and we would both do anything for each other. Dad just doesn't understand that i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the one that God has for me!!! Ive prayed so much about it and i KNOW that he is the one!!!! Sure we've made mistakes both we're not perfect, just like no one else is perfect! I don't understand why parents think that they were perfect xhildren and never messed up!!! How is it that everyone else can make one mistake and still work out together just perfectly but yet once it comes to me and the guy i love, we mess up once and we arent even allowed to look at each other!!!
Noelle (author) from Denver on January 25, 2014:
It sounds like he may be having problems seeing his little girl growing up, especially if this is the first serious relationship that you've had. It may just take him some time to see that you're growing up and to adjust to the idea that he's going to have to let you make your own decisions. I know with my mom, it took her a long time to adjust to the idea of me dating and growing up. There were nights when I would come home from my boyfriend's and she would refuse to talk to me at all. Over time, she got more used to the idea as I began talking about him and she could see that I was happy.That's wonderful that your mother approves and that your boyfriend's parents and your step-dad's friends are being supportive. I can't really think of anything else that could help without adding more tension between your dad and your boyfriend. Right now I'd let him cool down and eventually when he seems more open to the idea, maybe see if you and your boyfriend and him could spend some time together. A movie, dinner, etc. He could just need time, and when he's ready to see how happy you are (and be assured that your boyfriend treats you right), try that.
Isabel Donadio from Menifee, California on January 23, 2014:
This is really helpful, but I'm still finding difficulty with my step-dad. He's very closed minded and if he had it his way I'd become Rapunzel. He's stubborn and doesn't listen to anyone that goes against him. My boyfriend's family threw a lovely dinner for all of us (him, his parents, my parents, and I) and my dad refused to socialize with them all night. WHen he's not home, he's talking to his friends about how much he disapproves, saying "Back when I was their age..." His friends even defended my boyfriend and I. I'm 18 years old, and I'm trying so hard to get him to understand, but he refuses. He's been my step-dad since I was 6, so for almost 12 years he's taught me to be strong. It feels like he thinks I'm weak and stupid and constantly need protection. He raised me properly and think, but it just seems like he's trying so hard to escape what is going on. My mom adores my boyfriend and trusts his family, but not my dad. What should I do?
Noelle (author) from Denver on January 13, 2014:
Wow, thank you for all of your stories and thoughts on the subject! It's always a good feeling knowing that there are others who have shared the same experience. I'm happy that the message rang true, and there's a lot that people can take away from just reading the comments and stories you've all shared.
Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on January 12, 2014:
I think the best way to avoid the problem altogether is for the parents to get to know the date before they start going together. On the first date, have boy come in, the introductions made, and they sit and talk for a few minutes before going out. Likewise, when the boy asks the girl for a date, introduce her to his parents then.
Why wait until the relationship gets serious before springing it on the parents? In past societies, parents played a role in selecting mates for their children, and often the couple grew up together. That would lead to less suspicion and conflict, and perhaps lower divorce rates.
lovedoctor926 on January 12, 2014:
A very good hub.
I''ve been in this situation before. Let's just say that my parents have never liked or approved of any guy that I have liked. Sometimes they would just make assumptions without even giving the guy a chance to prove himself. You know what? It didn't stop me from being with the guy that I liked. I always found a way to do so; however, it would be a lot better to start a new relationship with someone in good terms and in a positive way rather than all that bickering and negative energy the family brings into the relationship. Bottom line, you don't need your parent's approval to be with whom you love and makes you happy. They're your parents and you owe them respect, but it's your life and in the end you're the one that's going to be with him. Parents will eventually come around.
Blueheron on January 12, 2014:
One of my daughters met her boyfrient online--having given up on the local boy market--which caused a huge dust-up in the family when the young man decided to come for a visit from his home in another state. Her dad and his SO, and her sisters and their boyfriends/husbands were all convinced that the young man was an axe murderer. I was the only one who was willing to let him stay at my house.
He turned out to be a VERY fine young man. But, two years later, there is still some awkwardness in the family about admitting they were wrong about the axe-murderer thing. Best not to say things you'll be sorry about later.
lesliebyars on January 12, 2014:
I think that my parents aren't sure what to think about my boyfriend. We are 2 1/2 hours from each other so, they don't have a good opportunity to get to know him. However, I think with time and just being around him more, they will come around.
I really enjoyed reading your hub. I voted up, re-pinned it and marked it as used and interesting.
Mackenzie Sage Wright on January 12, 2014:
"Decide if You'd be Okay with having Your Boyfriend Disliked"-- this is great advice. I always knew that the kind of guy my mother would like and respect was so not who I would be attracted to; and the kinds of guys I am attracted to would never be someone she'd approve of. And the more she didn't get her way (ie, I didn't dump him upon her disapproval) the more she hated him. She hated my husband when we dated; I realized I just had to accept it. Congrats on HOTD.
swilliams on January 12, 2014:
Great Hub noellenichols! Especially for a mother who has three daughters! My daughter recently married a very nice young man that we liked. The fact that my now son-in-law took the time to know our family and include everyone in events that he was involved in helped. It was easier to accept him as a part of our family. Great Hub! Voted up useful, interesting, and beautiful. I loved the pictures too! Great Job!
Uma Kapur from Chandigarh on January 12, 2014:
Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on January 12, 2014:
Noelle, you have produced a very thoughtful and informative hub. I especially appreciate your assertion that liking of parents is very important who feel happy when your special one is around and are genuinely interested in whatever he is engaged in or pursuing. Though you have elaborated on every aspect so beautifully, I am tempted to add some on my part also. I have a daughter and I am equally concerned about her. It is my form view that there are some traits in a person that can be easily gauged and if one is able to decipher these, she will be saved from wrong choice. 1. Just find out if he is considerate enough to reflect his attention to the problems beings faced by someone. If yes, rest assured that he will prove a hard rock for you in all the adverse circumstances. 2. Balanced temper plays a prominent role in our lives. This can be easily found out in having only a few interactions. No doubt, sometimes we come into the grip of rage but it does not continue for a long time and we revert to peace. If a person takes reasonably a long time to settle his anger and animosity, he will prove a reckless person, so it is better to avoid him. 3. Generosity is another trait. This kind of person gets along very easily with anyone on this earth, so he is the right choice if he is bestowed upon the former traits also. 4. A spirit of forget and forgive makes a person very compatible with everyone ,so try to find out these traits also. There are other too but you will laugh at those and assume that only a saint can have those traits. An alert mind and watchful eyes can discover a real person out, so every girl should cultivate vigilant nature when engaged with her boyfriend. I have elicited ancient wisdom here and wonder if it works in such a fast and vibrant world ?
Chace from Charlotte, NC on July 09, 2013:
Man, we had a similar experience with a bf in the past. I think a boyfriend who really cares about you would do just about anything for you (just like you'd "fight" your own family for him) but a guy who won't even put in the effort is just puppy love and lust. Sooo true. :D
Noelle (author) from Denver on July 08, 2013:
Thanks for voting it up, jabelufiroz. I appreciate it!
I couldn't agree more, peachpurple, thanks for reading.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 08, 2013:
great tips. It is indeed important for your family members to accept your boyfriend because in future, they will meet him often and it is inconvenient for not communicating with each other, Voted up
Firoz from India on July 07, 2013:
Great tips, voted up.
Noelle (author) from Denver on July 07, 2013:
Thanks for the very insightful comment, cyoung35! That's great that you have that faith and trust in your daughter's choice of boyfriends. I definitely never had that with my parents (even with just bringing friends over). It made it a struggle bringing any one over as I had to fight against my parents to finally gain any sort of respect from them for my decisions. Your daughter is lucky to have such a great parent like yourself.
Chad Young from Corona, CA on July 07, 2013:
Having a daughter myself I've been through the boyfriend situation a couple times. I believe it's not really up to me if I like them or not but I do trust the decisions my daughter makes. Whether they're right or wrong she has to live life the way she thinks is the right way. There has been boyfriends I've liked and ones not so much but none of them have worked out into a marriage yet. So in all fairness I try to look for the good in all her boyfriends and not look for the negatives. As a parent I have to say no boy will ever be good enough for my little girl but there is one out there that will treat her right and make her happy and that's all I can ask for in a boyfriend.